Thursday, July 5, 2012

George Monbiot on Peak Oil

I link here to a curious article by George Monbiot effectively recanting his support for the peak oil thesis:
George Monbiot, “We were Wrong on Peak Oil. There’s Enough to Fry us All,” Guardian, 2 July 2012.
There is also a longer analysis here at
George Wuerthner, “The Real Problem is Not Too Little Oil, But Too Much: The Myth of Peak Oil,”, March 29, 2012.


  1. I have always wondered whether there would be a public clash between those who advocate peak oil as a prime concern and those who advocate anthropogenic global warming as a prime concern.

    After all, you have one side that suggests that the biggest threat to human standards of living is lack of energy, and another side that suggests that too much energy and carbon footprints threaten human standards of living.

    However, such a public clash is yet to occur.

  2. Peak oil is rot. It is intuitively believable because it is based on the asinine principle that: oil is scarce. It's a bit like the Quantity Theory of Money. Because money causes inflation... right? Same 'logic'.

    The recent investment drive in oil shows that we are far from oil scarcity -- very far. High prices drive more expensive extraction techniques and boost production (duh...).

    But this is irrelevant. Anyone paying close attention to the oil market recently knows that it is being manipulated. The fist hint was the extent of the crash in price in 2008:

    Supply and demand? Don't make me laugh. That's a bubble...

    And then once you take this 'Red Pill' and see how far the rabbit hole goes, you find that the financial markets have essentially taken over the oil market. QE has worsened the speculation of course. Well, at leats Bernanke and King got some inflation out of it, eh?

  3. Peak oil was always "peak cheap oil", and that has indeed proved true. Yes, the bubbles are on top of that.

    Of course even if there isn't enough oil to fry us all there's still enough coal. So global warming is the key issue.